If there is one type of link that Google loves, it is an editorially reviewed, contextual backlink.
While many "tactics" have come and gone over the past 15 years, the value of a contextual link on a trusted site has remained. Today we are going to discuss a few simple methods that you can use to earn trusted contextual links to your site.
1. HARO - Help a Reporter Out is a service that connects journalists looking for information with experts in a variety of fields. You can sign up for free and receive emails a few times each day. All you have to do is sort through the requests from reporters and find topics relevant to your business. Each email will list the details and requirements for a particular story, here is an example:
As you can see, all you have to do is respond to the question being posed within the timeframe while ensuring you meet any listed requirements such as response length or deadlines. Even though this seems pretty simple, it can land you links or some major news sites.
2. Radio Guest List - This site is meant to connect people looking for radio or podcast guests with experts in several fields, much like HARO. If you visit the "See new radio interview guest requests" you can view a current list of hosts seeking people to interview.
In most cases your interview will be published to social profiles and the website of your interviewer, resulting in links and increased exposure. Some of the shows are relatively new while others have quite a following. Here is an example of an interview and link that I acquired via Radio Guest List. This service like HARO has a free option or you can pick from a few packages to promote yourself as an expert looking for interviews.
3. ProfNet - This service is like a paid version of HARO.
The fees vary based upon your organization and other factors so you have to request a customized price quote before signing up for this service. The primary benefit of this service is that since it is paid, you are often competing with fewer people for media placements. While I have never personally used the service, I have heard positive feedback from several users in the tech and health fields. If you aren't getting enough coverage from HARO and Radio Guest List, this could be a good additional to your outreach and PR strategy.
4. SourceBottle - The three services mentioned above communicate opportunities via email, SourceBottle on the other hand has a searchable database that allows you to find outreach opportunities in several niches with a quick search or you can opt-in to receive alerts for opportunities in your area of interest.
This service is free but they also offer an upgraded version for $25 per month. This upgrade includes them pitching your profile to journalists in your industry. I have not personally used this site to pitch myself as a source but I have looked through the listings and used the search features, both of which seem to be well put together. The only dislike I had about the site was the continual upsell attempts when searching. Otherwise, this looks to be another solid source for expanding your outreach.
5. Inbound Link Building - This is more of a technique than a service. One of the more effective ways I have found to generate natural and contextual links is with paid advertising. I have tried several platforms for this but one of the most effective platforms I have found is Outbrain.
Outbrain is a service that allows you to promote your content with ads that are placed near relevant content on major websites.
The reason this works really well for link building is because the major sites you are paying to display your ads on are the ones that most commonly rank for major keywords. Someone writing an article is likely to search Google for information which is why sites that rank in the top few positions for high traffic keywords gain more natural links. In order for your paid ad to get links to your blog, you need to create ad copy that intrigues the blogger to click your ad and read what you have to say. If you have a quality post and a click enticing headline, you can enjoy increased traffic from your ads while earning natural links by being in front of writers conducting research. While you are not always going to gain links with this method, I have had some great success in generating links in addition to converting traffic for myself and clients of mine.
Over to you....
What is one of your favorite resources for generating outreach links? Have you used any of the services mentioned above before?
Travis Bliffen is the founder of Stellar SEO, a Web design and marketing firm located in Marion, IL. Travis and his team are equipped to handle any size SEO project and have helped numerous businesses to date build a rock solid online presence. When you are ready for more leads and sales, it is time to get #stellarized. Connect on Facebook or Twitter @theseoproz